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Baked Goat Cheese with Garden Lettuces
This dish has been on the menu of the upstairs café at Chez Panisse since it opened. Delicious as a first course, it can also be served as a meal, or as a combination salad-and-cheese course. The goat cheese and crumbs can be prepared ahead.
- ½ pound fresh goat cheese log (about 2 inches wide and 5 inches long)
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 small sprig rosemary, chopped
- ½ sour baguette, preferably a day old
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil, or a combination
- ½ pound garden lettuces, washed and trimmed
Carefully slice the goat cheese into 8 disks. Pour the olive oil over the disks and sprinkle with the chopped thyme and rosemary. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or up to a week.
Preheat the oven to 300° F. Cut the baguette in half lengthwise and dry out in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until dry and lightly colored. Grate into fine crumbs on a box grater or in a food processor. If made ahead, store in a self-sealing plastic bag.
When ready to assemble the salad, preheat the oven to 400° F. Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate. Remove the cheese disks from the marinade and roll them in the breadcrumbs, coating them thoroughly. Place the crumb-coated cheese on a small baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes, until the cheese is warm and the crust is browned.
Place the vinegars in a small bowl and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
Toss the lettuces lightly with the vinaigrette and arrange on 4 salad plates. With a spatula, carefully place two disks of the baked cheese on each plate, and serve.
Reprinted by permission of Alice Waters from Six Classic Recipes from the Chez Panisse Café.
Alice Waters is a chef, author, and food activist, and founder of the renowned Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, CA. She is the author of numerous books, including We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto (2021). Learn more about her work and the Edible Schoolyard Project at edibleschoolyard.org.
Published in the Journal of Health and Healing™
Winter 2022 – 23 | Volume 46, Number 4
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